Zagreb Mayor Fined by Conflict of Interest Commission

By 8 February 2019

ZAGREB, February 8, 2019 - The parliamentary conflict of interest commission on Friday fined Zagreb Mayor Milan Bandić 30,000 kuna for signing a contract on the legal representation of the city and city companies by the law firm of the late Marijan Hanžeković because the law firm deposited 15 million kuna so Bandic could be released on bail during an investigation into a corruption case dubbed Agram.

Commission chair Nataša Novaković said that the contract between Hanžeković's law firm and the city of Zagreb and city companies amounted to 25 million kuna annually.

Novakovic said that after the law firm deposited bail money, Bandić found himself in a relationship of dependence on Hanžeković and his law firm and that he should therefore not have been involved in the procurement of legal services involving Hanžeković and his partners and especially, not sign decisions and contracts with that law firm.

The conflict of interest commission also decided that MP Milorad Pupovac of the SDSS party had breached the Conflict of Interest Act by failing to exempt himself, in his capacity as a member of the Council for Ethnic Minorities, from a vote the Council took on 5 May 2016 to reallocate budget funds for ethnic minorities, including, among others, to the Serb National Council (SNV), of which Pupovac is president.

Presenting his defence before the commission, Pupovac said that he believed that he had not breached the Conflict of Interest Act because the SNV was not a group of private persons linked with him by interest, adding however that he would respect the commission's decision.

He said that he took part in the debate at the Council session and remained during the vote but that neither he nor other Council members could remember him having taken part in the vote.

More news on the Zagreb Mayor Bandić can be found in the Politics section.